The Vetting Questionnaire for Tim Johnson’s 13th Congressional District Replacements

Tim Johnson, known for his non-stop phoning of constituents, announced his resignation from Congress after he won the GOP primary eleciton. An appointed candidate will run in his place this fall.

When a former Assistant U.S. Attorney gets involved in the process of replacing Congressman Tim Johnson, you might expect that the questionnaire would be thorough.

I give the credit to political consultant Jon Zahm, who has had his run-ins with Illinois State Republican Central Committee Chairman Pat Brady, for pointing me to the questionnaire.

Zahm thinks it’s more than a bit intrusive.

He asks this good question:

“How can the candidates who submit this information know that their privacy is protected?”

Numbering the questions gets me to 53, but there is more information requested, including one’s Social Security number.
And Zahm’s analysis leads him to ask:

“Why is there not a single issue based question on this survey?”

A campaign needs a candidate, money and issues. At least that’s what I remember from the campaign schools I have attended.

Here are the questions as listed:

  1. Have you ever been arrested?
  2. Has any member of your family been arrested?
  3. Have you ever been convicted of a felony or misdemeanor?
  4. Has any member of your family been convicted of a felony or misdemeanor?
  5. Have you ever been stopped under suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs? If so, what was the outcome?
  6. Have you ever been treated for substance abuse or spent time in a rehabilitation facility?
  7. Have you ever received any traffic tickets? If so, please provide a complete listing to the best of your knowledge.
  8. What is the status of your driving record and car insurance?
  9. Have you ever been denied car insurance or had car insurance cancelled?
  10. Have you ever been questioned by state or federal authorities in connection with the alleged commission of a crime? If so, when? If applicable, did you provide testimony or material evidence (testimony or documents) in the case? What was the ultimate disposition of that case?
  11. Have you ever testified or been served with a subpoena to testify before a grand jury,
  12. trial court, administrative or regulatory agency? If so, provide all details.
  13. Have you ever been served with a subpoena to produce records to a grand jury, trial court, administrative or regulatory agency? If so, provide all details.
  14. If you are an attorney, please list the type of clients /nature of the cases in which you are involved (corporate, criminal defense, family law, etc.) and any noteworthy cases that could be potentially relevant in a congressional campaign.
  15. Have you ever written for or in any newspaper (including op-eds, letters to the editor) magazines or blogs? If so, please elaborate.
  16. Have you ever been published in a journal, book or other written publication?
  17. Are you currently active on any social networking media? (Facebook, Twitter, etc.)
  18. Where is your current residence? Do you lease or own this property?
  19. Do you maintain any other residences? If so, where? Do you lease or own these
  20. properties? Has your house or any property been foreclosed by court order?
  21. Have you ever been delinquent with personal, business or property taxes?
  22. Have you ever owned or run a business? If so, please elaborate.
  23. If you have owned or run a business, did that business ever outsource any of its production?
  24. If you have owned or run a business, did that business ever receive federal funding
  25. (grants, contracts, Stimulus funds, earmarks, subsidies, etc.)?
  26. Was the business ever sold? If so, to whom?
  27. Please list any history / problems with your employees (mass layoffs, illegal immigrants, benefit disputes, etc.)
  28. Please list any history / problems with your business partners (litigation, criminal matters, sanctions, etc.)
  29. Has there ever been a lien placed on your property or business?
  30. Have you or your business ever been investigated by any government agency (EPA, DOL, DOJ, etc)?
  31. Have you ever filed for bankruptcy?
  32. Has any member of your immediate family filed for bankruptcy?
  33. Are your taxes up-to-date?
  34. Have you ever been a party in a civil or criminal court case? If so, please elaborate.
  35. Has any member of your immediate family been sued?
  36. Has the IRS audited you or your business or family business?
  37. Have you ever been fined by the IRS?
  38. If licensing is required for your profession or business, please list the agencies and indicate if you are current with the licensing authority.
  39. Have you ever been delinquent in filing for these licenses?
  40. Have you been involved in any disciplinary action with any governing body or licensing organization in your professional career? If so, please elaborate.
  41. Have you ever run for elective office? If so, when, and for what office?
  42. What year did you register to vote and with what election authority?
  43. Is your voter registration current with your current election authority?
  44. Have you ever voted in the primary of any political party other than the Republican Party?
  45. Have you ever outwardly supported a candidate who was not a Republican Party candidate?
  46. Have you ever been fined by the FEC, State Board of Elections, or local election board?
  47. Have you ever made campaign contributions to a candidate that was not a Republican or a PAC that did not support Republican candidates/causes? If so, who, for what office and in what year?
  48. To what Republican campaigns/organizations have you or your spouse donated in the past 20 years. Please estimate the amounts of the contribution.
  49. Are you or have you ever been a registered participant or member of a radical, communist or socialist political party or organization?
  50. If you are, or ever have been, an elected official, have you cast any votes that your constituents or this body may consider controversial? If so, please explain.
  51. Is there anything in your past that has not been addressed in this questionnaire that may be considered a potential vulnerability in your run for Congress? If so, please elaborate?

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